Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Jesse Plemons
Written By: Adam McKay
Directed By: Adam McKay
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
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How can you make a movie about one of the devious politicians to walk the planet? Adam McKay certainly tries his best and offers a left-leaning take on Dick Cheney that’s entertaining and funny at times, except we shouldn’t be laughing.
Right off the bat, Vice tells the audience that this movie isn’t 100 percent accurate, considering Dick Cheney is one of the secretive politicians around…but they tried their best. The movie follows Cheney (Christian Bale) and his wife Lynne (Amy Adams) from administration to administration, and the movie is narrated by a fictitious veteran called Kurt (Jesse Plemons). The film flashbacks to pieces of Cheney’s life in Wyoming, but the main focus is during the Bush administration.
As I was watching this movie, I was thinking to myself, “man, republicans will probably turn this movie off within the first 5 minutes.” I’m sure some people on the left wouldn’t care to watch a movie about Cheney for 2 plus hours either, especially since it’s probably wildly inaccurate. I get the point of the movie though, and it just paints a picture about Cheney as a person who doesn’t give a shit about anybody, except maybe his wife and daughters. There’s parts of the movie where I thought this could be accurate, and other times I thought, yeah this is probably bullshit but hey, it’s still good. I still enjoyed the movie, especially liked some of the humor with it too and the overall satire of it. There were times I was laughing out loud either because it was funny, or funny how real it probably was.
Halfway through the movie, McKay does an End Credits gag that’s really funny. There’s an actual mid-end credits scene that’s amusing showing the focus group in the movie claiming the movie Vice is too biased. There’s also some other funny scenes involving Sam Rockwell as George W Bush that made me laugh. It felt like Adam McKay almost gave Cheney a catch phrase, which was something along the lines of “I believe I need to go to the hospital.” Rockwell played George W Bush well but the main selling point of this movie is Christian Bale transforming into Cheney. You really think you’re watching Bale as Cheney. Of course, he gained a bunch of weight, got his mannerisms and voice down perfectly. Amy Adams did a great job as Lynne Cheney as well. Steve Carell as Rumsfeld was okay, he had his funny moments but I just kept picturing Michael Scott playing Rumsfeld.
Vice looked pretty good on Blu-Ray. There were a few scenes where it looked too grainy, and I get why McKay was doing it but still felt distracted from seeing it. The extras on the Blu-Ray include deleted scenes, a making of, a featurette and a gallery. The deleted scenes contain a musical dance number in the cafeteria which would have been interesting in the movie. I can see why it was cut though. There’s one bunker scene where Bale has his shirt off and it seems like it was just shot just to show the dedication he has to the role. The making of is about half hour or so long but has some great interviews with McKay and the cast. It shows a lot of behind the scenes footage and things like that as well.
Vice isn’t for everybody because it depends on where you are in the political spectrum. Some people might be able to push the political stuff aside and watch it for the performances, which is certainly of note since Christian Bale was perfect as Dick Cheney. I thought the movie was pretty good, despite it felt all over the place pacing-wise. It’s not really a standard biopic, not even an authorized biopic so have to get over that some things probably aren’t true. I think we can all agree on one thing though, Bale does an outstanding job.
Gaming the System: The Making of VICE
The Music of Power
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
English SDH, Spanish
Bottom Line: Watch this just because of Christian Bale’s performance
Running Time: 132 mins